A neighbour has a very noisy, aggressive Jack Russell terrier. On a number of occasions whilst out walking Penny, our beloved Jack Russell terrier, the very noisy, aggressive Jack Russell terrier has tried to attack Penny. The snarling and snapping of that dog is rather unsettling.
Each time Penny and I have encountered this dog while just trying to go for a peaceful walk, has ended up with Penny and I maintaining a calm demeanour. Penny does not react. I've been polite, good natured and courteous to the lady whose dog is causing so much aggravation. She's said, on numerous occasions, how much she appreciates me not making a fuss about it. I told her that I suppose her dog is trying to protect her. I think maybe her dog is jealous of Penny, what with Penny being a famous yet modest internet superstar!
Penny and I continued to go out for walks. We tried to keep our distance from her dog. Thought it best for all concerned. Yet, time after time, the lady would get very close to us with her aggressive little dog. The yapping of the dog is so loud that at times I'd have to speak louder just so the lady could hear me. My conversations with her were always pleasant, always cordial. I try to be a polite, respectful neighbour. Nobody needs the stress.
Last Wednesday morning I had a letter posted through my mailbox. Upon opening the letter I couldn't believe what I was reading. The letter stated that a neighbour of mine was lodging a complaint about me in regards to anti-social, aggressive and threatening behaviour. The neighbour said they felt intimidated by me. The letter went on explaining about what is acceptable behaviour within the housing community I now live in. I was in shock. I felt sick.
I phoned the person who'd sent the official letter of complaint. I told the lady on the phone that I would like a meeting with the person who had made such outrageous allegations. A few minutes later, the lady phoned me back and asked me if the next Tuesday at ten in the morning would be okay for a meeting with the person who accused me. I told her that was way too long and I needed to get the situation sorted as soon as possible. She phoned me back again and a meeting was arranged for the next morning, Thursday morning at ten.
At the meeting, the lady with the very noisy, aggressive Jack Russell terrier, was the one who had made the allegations. Staying very calm, I asked her why she had said such awful things about me. She responded by saying that I was yelling at her. To which I responded that I had to speak louder because her dog was barking so loud. I was actually trying to tell her that when she had been out of her apartment her dog was barking loudly. So much so that a fellow neighbour said he was going to lodge a complaint if it continued. I was only trying to warn her. I pointed out how kind I had always been to her and that this seemed to be a perception issue. She conceded that she had got it completely wrong, She apologised, over and over again.
The letter that I received was ceremoniously placed in the office shredder at my insistence. I hope that such a situation never happens again. I really don't need this. Especially when I'm struggling with my confidence and my mental health concerns. Such an incident, in my fragile state, could of set me back even further.
After the meeting, I thought about how I could turn such a negative experience into something positive. I talked to the supervisor at reception. I offered to help set up a blogging community within the apartment building. This was enthusiastically received. My idea will be in next month's community magazine.
On the Thursday evening, my doorbell rang. The lady who had made those horrible allegations against me was standing there with a box of chocolates. She apologised again and gave me a box of Swiss chocolates. A nice gesture and I hope that she's realised a lesson from all of this. Perception and reality can be such a fine line.
On Saturday evening, my doorbell rang again. This time, it was a dear older lady from across the hallway. Even though I made no mention of the meeting I'd had, somehow word had gotten around. She just wanted to see how I was because she was worried about me. She told me she'd vouch for my good nature. It turns out I'm not the only person that lady had lodged a complaint about. Rather ironically, she had made complaints against folks who have been very nice to her. I do understand that the lady in question has her own mental health issues. These, however, need to be addressed with her having the right support.
Yes, I had a sleepless night before that meeting. Playing over and over again in my mind what I could of possibly done wrong. A week later and I'm much calmer, especially knowing that my reputation as a kind, caring, well meaning man is truly intact.
Apologies for an unusually long post by my standards. I had to get it out of my system via the therapy that is my writing. Peace and goodwill to you, my friend.